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Healthy eating can be challenging, especially during the holiday season. Lots of heavy food, alcohol, desserts; throw in some family drama, and it is the perfect recipe for overindulging and making meal choices you might regret.

Thankfully, there are some great (and DELICIOUS) alternatives to otherwise unhealthy dishes.

Green Bean Casserole

This cream-filled side dish is a staple at most holiday meals. The cheese, heavy cream, and condensed soup make it very rich and unfortunately filled with saturated fats and calories. A fantastic alternative to this classic is to roast fresh green beans with crumbled bacon. It is such an incredibly easy side dish (mix beans, bacon, garlic, and a dash of EVOO together, roast on a sheet pan @ 400 degrees for about 20 minutes) and it tastes AMAZING!

Mashed Potatoes

Now, these are an easy swap. If you haven’t tried mashed cauliflower yet, this is the perfect opportunity. Try making your favorite recipe and swap half the potatoes for cauliflower. You can still have the creamy, amazing taste of the mashed potatoes and you’re eating half the amount of starch and getting a great serving of veggies!

Sweet Potato Casserole

Everyone loves the dish filled with sweet potatoes, butter, and topped with marshmallows. How about, instead of a casserole, halve the sweet potatoes and bake them topped with a teaspoon of brown sugar and chopped pecans? So incredibly yummy, you still get the sweetness you’re craving, and it is WAY healthier!

As always, everything is about moderation. If you want a piece of pumpkin pie, have a piece of pie! You can enjoy your holiday and not have the guilt of throwing your lifestyle off track. These simple swaps are easy and are dishes the whole family will enjoy. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

At Merritt Clubs, our Nutrition & Wellness Department is here to help you stay healthy and active throughout the holiday season and into the new year. Reach out to Merritt’s Director of Nutrition & Wellness, Lindsay Silbert at for more information or to schedule a complimentary Wellness Assessment with Stefanie!